Kids’ lives revolve around a different calendar.
At the heart of Laila’s calendar is Christmas. The next important date is her birthday. Each trip we take involves an elaborate countdown and packing a minimum of two months in advance, maybe three if there is cousin fun planned.
There is school. The beginning. The end. The highlights in between. School is huge for my little girl.
It broke my heart to send Laila to pre-K and watch her walk into school, alone, with her backpack and uniform, even though she told me she was afraid.
It got easier for both of us when kindergarten came around. She bounded back through the school gates.
Laila loves school. She loves her friends, her teacher.
All in all, school and her family are her whole world.
Today is her last day of kindergarten.
For her, that’s a seismic shift.
For me, too.
How can my baby be done with kindergarten? How did this happen? Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday Mark and I loaded my week-overdue hugely pregnant self into our burgundy Buick (living room on wheels!) and hauled the two of us to a Michigan hospital to do that game-changing thing called havin’ a baby.
Now Laila’s rappin’ ‘Hamilton’ and trying to make words on paper and articulating the questions and thoughts and worries that bounce around her busy mind.
“Mommy,” she told me last night. “I don’t want to go to first grade.”
“Because L won’t be there.”
L is her best little school friend. The two became inseparable this year.
“I’m going to miss 100 things,” Laila continued with dramatic flourish, twirling a pencil she won in a game at school.
“The computers. Mrs. B. L….” she trailed off and dropped the pencil. She started crying a few silent tears, trying to hide them from me with her hands.
“Close your eyes and just think of the good times,” I said. “And hey, I’m going to make playdates for the summer, starting tomorrow.”
“Do you promise?”
Little Laila you have gotten so big, and so have your feelings.
What’s a mom to do?
I wipe away her tears hold her hand until she drifts off to sleep, thankful that she’s not too big to let me soothe her fears.